29/08/2000 - 21:00

It’s time WA caught up

29/08/2000 - 21:00


Save articles for future reference.

HERE we go again. It is that time of the year when the West Australian economy falls out of step with the rest of Australia.

It’s time WA caught up
HERE we go again. It is that time of the year when the West Australian economy falls out of step with the rest of Australia.

Three referenda and we still insist that we don’t want to have daylight saving in this State.

Surely, business has progressed to the point that we can influence the government to make a change. There is no need for a referendum to decide the issue.

It is something that the Government has the capacity to impose without consultation with the population.

Why does business want daylight saving? Put simply, we have to stay in step with our Eastern States counterparts to have any form of rationality in our business dealings.

The main purpose of daylight saving time was supposedly to make better use of available daylight. But apparently there are energy saving benefits as well.

Studies in the US indicate that daylight saving trims the use of electricity by a significant, but small, amount of less than one per cent each day. Energy use and the demand for electricity for lighting our homes is directly related to the time we spend in the home.

The Americans have found that there is less time spent at home and therefore encourages the use of less energy.

The idea of daylight saving was first proposed by Benjamin Franklin in 1784.

Nothing further was advanced in this regard till 1907, when William Willett, a London builder, proposed advancing clocks 20 minutes on each of four Sundays in April, and retarding them by the same amount on four Sundays in September.

In 1909 a bill was drafted and introduced into parliament several times and received little or no interest.

In 1916, a year after Willett’s death, daylight saving time was adopted in England following Germany’s lead.

The motivation was to save coal. The farming interests in Britain campaigned steadfastly against the bill to no avail.

Lord Balfour put forward one of the more unique arguments against the introduction of daylight saving time:

Clocks were put one hour ahead of GMT during the summer months. The energy saving benefits of this were recognised during World War Two, when clocks were put two hours ahead of GMT during the summer.

This became known as Double Summer Time. During the War, clocks remained one hour ahead of GMT throughout the winter.

Despite the rather convoluted and circuitous arguments against the concept of daylight saving, it has to be said that it is extremely difficult for business in the West to achieve anything when we are dealing with counterparts in the East who are closed by the middle of the afternoon our time.

And before anyone says that it is simply a matter of us getting to work earlier, remember that we still have to service our WA customers at the end of the day.

It is difficult to get used to the fact that the Australian Stock Exchange has finished its trading day at 1pm our time.

This is the area that is most frustrating. The WA Government has the power to change this. The sooner it does it, the sooner we get back to some form of reality.


Subscription Options